December 22, 2013
Onitsuka Chihiro – This Silence is Mine
Used in the first (?) trailer for Drakengard 3 at TGS, this song has been in my head for a few months. Unfortunately, though the trailer came out in like September or October, the single didn’t come out until a few days ago. So the wait has been brutal.
Onitsuka’s vocals are absolutely haunting. I listened to a few other songs of hers while waiting for this single and she does a wide range of stuff (the other track on this single is a perfect example of this) but nothing could compare to this. The first few times I listened I got shivers.
You know, if it weren’t for this song in the TGS trailer, I probably wouldn’t be interested in the game at all. I know nothing of the series and JRPGs haven’t treated me well in the past but the cinematics of the trailer next to this song knocked me off my feet. Had they used the bland Eir Aoi track instead, I doubt I would care at all anymore. (Does Eir Aoi do anything that isn’t bland?)
Tamurapan – Koko
Expect some more Kyousougiga here today or tomorrow because I’m still absolutely smitten with the show. I loved the OP to pieces. The visuals and imagery were striking and made the song seem a lot more intense than it actually is. It’s actually a really lighthearted sounding. And ridiculously catchy. It’s very easy to find yourself singing along with it despite your best intentions.
I didn’t like the ED as much but since it was used as an insert song a couple times near the end, it’s sort of grow on me now. Not the the extent of Koko, of course.
March 3rd, 2014
MARiA – Ayano’s Theory of Happiness
I recently discovered the utaite MARiA a few months back and fell in love. Since then, her group with toku-p, GARNiDELiA has done the fantastic second OP for Kill la Kill, further cementing my love of her. But it turns out that I’ve known her for a long time under her actual, professional name. The only thing I remember about Kamisama Kazoku was that I loved the opening. And who did that turn out to be? Mai Mizuhashi aka MARiA. So I love her even more!
So when I saw she had done a cover of the most heartfelt sounding song of Kagepro (focusing on my favourite character and that always breaks my heart into a million pieces) and probably one of my favourite songs, I was beside myself with excitement. And as you can imagine, she didn’t disappoint. Though I have heard more emotional covers of the song, she just sounds so good that this is probably my cover to date.
Freezer feat. Kanako Itou – 永遠の終わりに (Freezer’s Bootleg Mix)
I had actually watched that scene (from Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi) on youtube the night before I was going through SC and happened across this. I wasn’t familliar with the track sampled until later but I think the timing lining up like that endeared me to this song a lot.
Like Nata Party by MHX from ARN 9 before it, I just have a weakness for songs with calm songs mixed with psycho soundbits from it’s respective show or game and a sick beat to back that all up. So Freezer’s mix here ended up being something I listened to nonstop.
Etsuko Yakushimaru – Welcome to the X Dimension
It seems a bit cheap to keep including songs for currently airing shows but hey WHATEVER. It was a tough choice. Ambiguous aside (because I already had a MARiA song and I didn’t want to pick between the two and the single isn’t even out until like two days) but the OP is really good too. I went with the ED because it’s just so much fun to sing along to and I’ve always had a weak spot for Etsuko Yakushimaru.
I’m watching Space Dandy at a snails pace but I just can’t bring myself to skip the OP and the ED. They’re both just too good.
March 27th, 2014
Linked Horizon – Ballade to Hope/Ballad Moving Toward Hope
I posted this in the post about Bravely Default but wow, I doubt I’ll get over this track anymore. I usually get pretty sad when I beat a game I’ve spent a lot of time on and this game was no exception. This track or the imagery that played during the credits just did not help that at all. Of course the events that play during the credits eventually got real dumb but at least this track just got better and better and better.
June 2nd, 2014
Emi Evans – Black Song
Another Drakengard 3 song? Well This Silence is Mine got me pumped and all but I couldn’t fully appreciate the other theme song until I actually played the game. I even liked the Eir Aoi version and Eir Aoi is… well I don’t like her very much. But the two of them have different tones entirely. The Eir Aoi one is slower but I feel like the Emi Evans one has more emotion, so I’ve been listening to that one more.
Alternatively, the Final Song. Despite it brutally murdering my hope of completing the game, it’s a really good song and it’s melancholic air was perfect to end the game on.
Lizz – Renai Circulation
I originally saw this going around tumblr and I clicked it out of pure morbid curiosity. I could not believe how quickly this would worm it’s way into my brain and how quickly I’d be singing along to it. I actually love english covers of anisongs when they’re done well. But what makes them well done? Adapting the lyrics in your own way is really important, in my opinion. If you follow an exact translation, it’s usually going to sound janky. The lyrics (done by Y.Chang who does a ton of anisong lyrics for english utaite) are adorable and fun to sing along to. Not to mention Lizz makes a pretty cute sounding Nadeko.
JubyPhonic – Lost Time Memory (Classical Rock Arrange)
Another english utaite? Well, I have a one track mind. JubyPhonic has really improved a lot lately. Both in lyrics and in her sound. I hate to admit it but I found a lot of her earlier stuff lacking and without enough emotion but that certainly isn’t the case now. I still get chills at the beginning (specifically the “why don’t you butt out/I won’t leave you/you’re annoying” lines) and the end (“I guess I died and I’m so sorry”). Not just because my entire heart belongs to Ayano, either. I just think she does such a great job and has so much emotion that I can’t stop listening.
And like I said for Renai Circulation, the lyrics! What I especially love about her covers is that she keeps it very consistent. The original lyrics in the KagePro songs feature a few recurring phrases and words and JubyPhonic manages to reflect the same thing in hers. I was really happy when I noticed that after listening to her fantastic Ayano’s Happiness Theory cover. I debated including that one but since we already have an Ayano cover on this list… well, check it out anyways!
This is a really interesting arrangement on it’s own. I know it’s not something that she had to do with but I’m glad she chose to cover this particular version anyways! I had never expected to hear something like it and I’m glad my first exposure to it was with her fantastic cover.
Jeff Williams feat. Casey Lee Williams – Time to Say Goodbye
The English songs keep coming! I felt pretty ambivalent about RWBY after it finished. Then I watched the entirety of Rooster Teeth’s more notable work, RvB, and I was absolutely floored by how good that was. It even managed to make me cry once or twice! So how come RWBY was so awful? Well, thinking about it, it did take a few seasons for RvB to really get into it’s groove and become good. But does RWBY already have such a strong following that there’s less pressure for it to be good?
Okay, none of that is really important though I was going somewhere with it. The lyrics seem to imply that they’re going to break away from the school and do all kinds of fighting evil stuff and blah blah all that good stuff. Will it actually be good? Well who knows.
I really like how urgent the song is though. I feel like the lyrics make it out to be a lot graver than it will be, though. Casey Lee Williams sounds better than she has in previous songs in the series but if you didn’t like her before well that won’t change much here.
August 30th, 2014
Ayumi Hamasaki – Song 4 U
The trend of songs from JRPGS I’m obsessively playing being high on this list will be a trend I guess. Good thing I don’t play that many. In fact it’s a bit embarrassing to be listening to Ayumi Hamasaki at my age. The full version of the song isn’t that great but I love me that chorus and OP part (which like Progress is later on in the song). Still, if only for the context of the OP I get so damn hype when I see it. I can’t skip it just because I know I’d be missing seeing Milla and
my wife Jude fighting and being badass against the 2 u, yeah (lots of yeahs) shinjiteru shinjirareteru part of the song. Though everything about that and and the 4 u part is just so well done and I love it.
FAR EAST MENTION MANNEQUINS – White Noise
This was such a tough choice because I could have put Astroboy or Fxxk Boyz Get Money or Dead Wrong or whatever else because once I discovered these two I I wasn’t sure how I managed to live before listening to them. Despite being a Japanese duo, their music is in english and has the electo hip-hop vibe of the west (though they describe it a synthpop). They have worked with some western producers and it’s evident in music video and song. It’s not just their songs. Which I do of course love and in terms of idea would liken to Nikki Minaj for agency and a lack of shame for being about sex, money, partying and about that life, an idea that typically girls are supposed to shy from.
But like I said, it’s not just the music. It’s also their image. Riri (Honey-B) and LuLa (W-Trouble) have a whole story. There are a few english interviews and it’s always Riri and LuLa speaking on behalf of their characters (on behalf of the mannequins) but all public appearances and concerts and music videos (which always have really great outfits like the Kill the DJ one is so good ugh) are in character with the girls playing the part of those mannequins. It’s unsettling and cool and their dedication is great.
I heard discussion that their stoicness and blank characters paired with their otaku-centric outfits are a shot at that culture. A clash between personality-lacking and mindless dolls dressed as schoolgirls, maids or nurses while singing about getting mad paid and partying all night and being complete opposites and I love that idea so much. I wonder how intentional it was (since the backstory of the mannequins takes priority) but just the idea of being all “fuk u nerds” makes me love FEMM even more.
I’ll probably do a whole post on this duo later on or if they release an actual album (which I would buy in a heartbeat) so this probably isn’t the last of them around here.
December 28, 2014
Ayaka Suwa (Matsuri Tokugawa) – Carnival Japanesque (カーニヴァル・ジャパネスク)
Matsuri is my favourite Million Live idol by a long shot (ok to be honest she’s the only girl I know from it) and my favourite idol from imas in general because
she looks like my waifu hina of how cute she is and how damn catchy her image songs are. Her winter themed song probably is more fitting for this time of year but it’s just not as catchy.
To be honest, this one kind of teeters the “so bad its good” line. The dubstep inclusion is beyond ridiculous but along with her cute vocals (I’m firmly on the side of them being adorable as heck), it just ends up as such a silly and fun song and that’s all I can ask of my idol music.
Emi Evans – Usuyukisou
Another Emi Evans track? Well I was first shocked to learn that Emi Evans was on this OST at all (and then I kept eagerly awaiting the scenes where those tracks would finally play) but then I was especially shocked to learn that it was the same people who had done the Nier and Darkengard 3 OST after all, thus explaining the random Emi Evans.
I like this one a lot more because it has such a Darkengard 3 feel what with the guitar and all. Maybe I just miss Darkengard 3 and this has nothing to do with Yuki Yuna is a Hero at all. MAYBE.